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Press Release

Sanbornville Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Trafficking and Firearm Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Hampshire

           CONCORD - James Coughlin, 38, of Sanbornville, pleaded guilty in federal court to drug trafficking charges and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.

           According to court documents and statements made in court, Coughlin conspired with individuals in California to have quantities of “ice” methamphetamine shipped to him at his Sanbornville residence.  He distributed a portion of the drugs to individuals in New Hampshire.  On September 17, 2019, he sold approximately 27 grams of “ice” methamphetamine to an individual who was cooperating with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Drug Task Force.

           On January 14, 2020, federal and state law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at Coughlin’s residence and seized approximately 61 grams of “ice” methamphetamine, cash, firearms and ammunition.  Because he previously had been convicted of a felony, it was unlawful for Coughlin to possess the firearms and ammunition.

           Coughlin is scheduled to be sentenced on May 18, 2021.

           “Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that is appearing with alarming frequency in New Hampshire,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “We are working with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute the drug dealers who bring this deadly substance into the Granite State.  I am grateful to the investigators whose work led to the arrest and prosecution of this armed methamphetamine trafficker.”

           “Today’s guilty plea is another important step toward holding Mr. Coughlin accountable for his interstate narcotics trafficking activities.” said William S. Walker, acting Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Boston.  “HSI will continue to prioritize the investigation of drug traffickers who pump illicit narcotics, like methamphetamines, into our communities.  These investigations are especially effective when we collaborate with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners in New Hampshire and beyond.”  

           This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, the New Hampshire State Police Narcotics Investigation Unit and Mobile Enforcement Team, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Drug Task Force the  Dover Police Department, the Portsmouth Police Department, the University of New Hampshire Police Department, the Somersworth Police Department, the Hampton Police Department, and the York, Maine Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Cole Davis.

           This investigation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.





Updated February 4, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 21-022